• LCO_2010_2_WEB
  • Tatev

  • church edifice
  • shepard

Gogaran

Gogaran is a small village located five miles outside of Spitak, the epicenter of the December 7, 1988 earthquake.  The village of 200 families suffered damage caused by the earthquake, which was very visible and had affected the residents’ lives and their community.  The three-story schoolhouse collapsed and almost all the school-age children died during this catastrophe.  It was a generation lost.

LCO thought the area was in crucial physical and emotional need and adopted Gogaran as a campaign site from 1989 to 1996.  During this seven-year period, LCO assisted the local villagers to rebuild their homes that were partially destroyed by the earthquake.  In 1991, the villagers requested that we select the reconstruction of Gogaran’s 16th century ancient church built on a 4th century foundation as a project and gift to all residents of Gogaran.

In 1996, Sourp Astdvadzadzin, was completed and its consecration was blessed by His Holiness KAREKIN I and 2,000 people from throughout Armenia attended. This was the first major diasporan and volunteer supported project in Armenia. Now Sourp Astvadzadzin is a permanent religious and community institution for the people and future generations of Gogaran.

Since the LCO has been working in this region since the earthquake, former volunteers have developed long-standing friendships and bonds with the villagers as they work alongside these people of the land.  LCO continues to support this project and community.

  • "There are experiences you shape and then there are experiences that shape you. The LCO Campaign of 2007 in the village of Azat offered me invaluable perceptions into the realities of my fellow Armenian brothers and sisters in a way only a true immersion program can. I urge everyone and anyone who might feel an inkling of belonging to this fascinating country, people, and history to sign up with the campaign immediately. I smile just thinking about what you have yet to experience."
    Noushig K, Azat 2007, CA, USA

  • "Coming back from a 4-day trip to Kharabagh really felt like coming back home, with our family waiting to greet us outside our house. That's when I realised just how attached we'd grown to the place, to our family, to the other volunteers"
    Anoosh Gasparian, Azat 2009, London UK

  • "I went to this trip with no expectations, and came back with a great appreciation for our country.  Life in the village is surreal, the food is beyond delicious and the people are incredibly nice. It was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget!"  Sam Tahmasian, 2009, CA, USA
  • "LCO is an amazing concept. It introduced the deprived Diasporan to their land and their people. It is a wonderful introduction to Armenia and something every young man or woman should experience."
    Madlene Minassian Ispirian, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, Yerevan, Armenia

  • "My most memprable experience was being so warmly taken care by an old village couple, receiving gifts from them, giving them gifts and establishing bonds."
    Naira Der-Kiureghian, Ayroum 2003, CA, USA

  • "...I know that when I reflect back on this experience I will feel ecstatic about the work we accomplished, the things we saw, and the bonds we forged."
    Hovig Saghdejian, Ayroum 2003, California, USA

  • "Dolma is made with mum's careful instructions, grandmothers eyes found on the faces of children, songs of Ararat are as familiar as the Khachkars dotting the landscape. If it smells like home, looks like home then it must be home."
    Datevig Simonian, Shadvan 2004, California, USA

  • "LCO experience was a revelation for me. It gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons both personally and professionally. One of the most important experiences of my life and an important factor in determining my future goals."
    Lara Aharonian, August 1999, August 2001, Montreal, Canada.

  • "I formed strong bonds with my volunteers, and the difference in backgrounds was refreshing. It was interesting to hear the points of view of different Armenians from other areas of the Diaspora."
    Aramazt Kalaydjian, Shoushi 2003, NY, USA

  • "I loved the simplicity of life in the village, the fresh homemade food is wonderful; that people are the friendliest and most hospitable... the children have the most beautiful faces..."
    Sophia Balakian, Shadvan 2004, New York, USA